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Reports: Steve Clinkscale leaving Michigan to join Los Angeles Chargers

Ugh.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Washington at Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines have lost yet another staff member on the defensive side of the ball, as co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale is moving on from his role in Ann Arbor for a gig in the NFL.

According to multiple reports, Clinkscale is expected to join Jim Harbaugh’s staff with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Sam Webb from The Michigan Insider further explained why Clink is making the jump:

Sources say a contract extension with a raise was on the table in Ann Arbor, but I’m told career advancement is the primary motivator for his departure. Sources say that for Clinkscale, not having the opportunity to be Michigan’s defensive coordinator made going to the NFL the next best option for in his quest to reach to his career goals of being a coordinator and ultimately a head coach.

Clinkscale has been with the Wolverines since 2021, when he was originally hired to coach the defensive backs and be the defensive passing game coordinator. He was later elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2022 and remained in that role this past season.

Guys like D.J. Turner (second-round pick in 2023) and Dax Hill (first-round pick in 2022) thrived under the guidance of Clinkscale while in Ann Arbor. Other players like Rod Moore and Will Johnson are well on their way to being NFL draft picks who learned a thing or two from Clink.

This is a tough loss for Sherrone Moore, who still has to find a new defensive line coach and linebackers coach. Mike Elston is also leaving Michigan for a gig with the Los Angeles Chargers, while Jesse Minter will be Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator.